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Lavant Horticultural Society, Chichester

Lavant Horticultuiral Society
Yellow flower of winter-flowering jasmine

A short selection of things to do in the garden at this time, also published each month in the Lavant News

December (to look back to November, click on the arbutus to the right).

Remove any remaining plant debris from vegetable plots, making sure not to compost any diseased material. Dig the plot over and incorporate soil improvers.

Continue to remove fallen leaves from lawns and beds, before grass and plants underneath suffer from lack

Winter-flowering jasmine

(Jasminum nudiflorum)

of light, and so they do not harbour pests, such as slugs & snails, or nurture diseases.

Remove any yellowed leaves on Brussels sprouts and other brassicas. This will prevent the development of grey mould and brassica downy mildew.Stake tall stalks to prevent wind rock. Also make sure that plants are protected from pidgeons by netting or fleece.

Apples, pears and soft fruit bushes can now be pruned. Make sure secateurs are sharp for a clean cut. Disinfect blades between trees by wiping with methylated spirits (surgical spirit). Stop pruning when the temperature falls to 4 degrees C, to avoid damaging cells swollen by low temperatures.

Remember not to prune any of the Prunus family (plums, cherries, apricots, peaches) in winter, otherwise there will be a high risk of silver leaf infection.

Any pruning of acers, birches and vines should be done before Christmas to avoid bleeding.

Remove the top netting from fruit cages, if not done already; snow can build up on the netting and get heavy enough to break the frame. Brush any snow off branches of conifers and light limbed trees and shrubs – heavy snow can splay or break branches and spoil the shape of a tree.

To reduce the risk of fungal infections, ensure greenhouses and conservatories are ventilated by opening vents for an hour or two on milder days.

Regularly deadhead winter-flowering plants in the home and greenhouse, to prevent problems with grey mould (Botrytis). Cyclamen are particularly prone to this problem.

Click above to look back to

November

Click below for

more comprehensive

advice for this month

from the RHS

Wildlife in the garden

Earlier this year you were invited to

take part in the Big Butterfly Count.

Now you can see the results

by clicking the link above.

Hedgehogs

Are having a difficult time - click above

to see how you can help in your garden

don't be too tidy in the garden

piles of old wood can help a wide range

of wildlife - click above to find out more

Click above for RHS

information on plants good

for bees & pollinators.